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The last few weeks for the Padres have been lacking, to say the least. They are lacking in wins due to a lack of prolific and timely hitting or a lack of effective pitching, or a lack of both as in the game played against the San Francisco Giants on Thursday, when Padres fans endured a 4-2 loss.

The contest looked good for the Friars in the beginning innings, they went out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Carlos Quentin drove in Chris Denorfia and Kyle Blanks grounded out to score Chase Headley. But that was all the Padres offense could come up with against Giants starter Madison Bumgarner and two relief pitchers.

Padres starter Jason Marquis was good enough to get a win if the Padres bats could have come through. Managing only five hits and a walk on offense, Marquis didn’t have a chance to hold back the Giants.

Marquis gave up a solo home run to Pablo Sandoval in the fourth inning, and then another run in the sixth, and exited respectfully in a tie game where the Padres were simply failing to hit.

In the top of the eighth inning, Luke Gregerson was in and gave up two runs and was lucky to have not given up more, with a ground-rule double keeping a runner at third base and a throw to home plate negating that run on the very next play. But the loss isn’t on Luke’s shoulders, in that if the Padres offense had been more productive then the relief pitching wouldn’t have been an issue at all.

In fact, the Giants pounded out twelve hits and could have (and maybe should have) scored more runs, if not for some good defense by the Friars in the field. Offensively, the Padres saw Chase Headley with a hit while Chris Denorfia and Carlos Quentin each had two, and that was it.

With the loss, the Padres are in last place by themselves. There are three games left before the All-Star break, and if the Friars are to compete in 2013, then they’ll have to win out. And if this doesn’t happen, then look once again for the Padres to offer players to competing teams to get something in return.

There’s a lot of blame being offered up by fans, it’s all over the place. But really, it’s about a bunch of ball players and coaches and a manager who are trying like hell to win and they just can’t put together everything it takes at the time they need to execute what they’re capable of executing.

It’s frustrating, for certain, but all they can do is to keep trying. The unfortunate result of continued failure will be the slow and excruciating dismantling of a great group of guys. Just be ready for it, it’s part of the great game of baseball. And historically, a part of Padres lore. This is what happens.


Notes:

According to Corey Brock of mlb.com, Yonder Alonso will be back on Friday. This, along with Jedd Gyorko’s continued success in rehab and Sean O’Sullivan’s start on Friday, presents the Padres with issues that are bound to be newsworthy. Some players are going to be sent down, or possibly transferred to the 60-day disabled list. We’ll be in the Padres dugout to relate the details, and you can follow on twitter @refriedgringo if you want some instant updates.

The Giants and Padres continue with game two of the four-game set on Friday night and you can clamp onto a free fedora if you’re among the first 25,000 fans in attendance (hint: get there early). Sean O’Sullivan (0-0, 0.00) will make his Padres debut against the Giants Chad Gaudin (2-1, 2.44). Gaudin is up on sexual harassment charges in Las Vegas if you want a tie-in that’s relevant to what the Mayor of San Diego is currently going through (this isn’t irony, just a weird coincidence). So anyway, game time is 7:10 PM PDST, on radio 1090 AM and televised on Fox Sports San Diego. And odds are good that no fedoras will magically wind up in the press box, but we hope we’re wrong because print media looks good wearing fedoras.

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